In the knowledge era, ideas are everything. Your business should be based on an idea. It is the first capital, you are going to need. Nevertheless, some people always find it hard to come up with ideas. Without an idea, their businesses lack foundation. They may taste initial success, but such businesses seldom sustain.
On the other side of the coin, some entrepreneurs get business ideas every moving moment. They sense opportunities from miles away. Regardless of whether they take action of not, there is so much potential. Whether the idea blasts gloriously or fizzles out depends on the business model, team, execution and timing. In regards to dealing with competition, you fight one idea with another.
Business is nothing but your idea in motion. Of course, the implementation part requires the setup and funding. Nevertheless, without idea, you have nothing really to start with. Crowdfunding campaigns can solve the funding limitations. However, there is no alternative to business idea. It’s no wonder, why shows like Dragon’s Den or Shark Tank are so captivating.
In this post, we will look at three easy steps to come up with great business ideas. Firstly, we shall emphasize on the need for passion/skill. Secondly, we discuss the importance of starting with the ‘why’. Thirdly, we explain why you must aim to solve a social problem in order to come up with an efficient business idea. A good business idea needs to just work and generate profits. But, a great business idea must check all boxes.
1. You Should Have Either Passion or Skill
Ideas come from a knowledge or passion high ground. When the business idea matches your skills or passion, it helps later too. When you are skilled at something, you can come up with strong technical ideas in your field. Your passion or interests helps you come up with ideas, even across fields. Entrepreneurs have been equally successful outside their line of trade as well. Let’s see in detail about how passion or skill helps idea generating process.
Passion: Passion is a term that’s often put out so vaguely. It’s not your commitment to work. It’s not your hobby or dream, either. Passion denotes a verb or action, though not grammatically. It’s an act of giving full attention or energy towards something. When your passion lies in solving issues and meet your skills, you can generate business ideas. In case of not having the relevant skills, you can always hire some extra hands. Above all relentless passion gets you so close to generating million dollar ideas.
Skill: The first step to use your skills to advantage is personal skills analysis. You must consider the skills you have and the proficiencies associated with it. The next step is to get creative and draft ideas based on your skills. The list of ideas doesn’t have to be perfect. The aim is to come up with a larger pool of ideas. The final step is to select ideas that match your highest proficient skills. Choosing ideas based on your skills gives you an upper hand, when the ideas mature as businesses.
Ideally choose ideas where your passion and skills meet. You need to consider the cause as well, as explained in below sections.
Start With the Why
Where to start a business, when you have the skills or passion? The best way is to start with why. Simon Sinek delivered an amazing TED speech on this domain. The speech eventually extended as a bestseller business book. Knowing the ‘why’ is so important to survive, when things don’t go our way in business.
Sinek proposes the golden circle, where the question of ‘why’ occupies the center. He prioritizes why, over questions like what or how. Teams which didn’t know the answer to ‘why’ questions are the ones that fail. You just can’t start a business with a vague idea of selling rolled ice-creams.
You need to challenge the status quo. You need to know why rolled ice-creams will get a reception in your city. Does the idea offer anything unique and refreshing? Not just you, your customer gives equal importance to the ‘why’ factor. They do that so intense, before spending their hard earned cash. On the positive side, give them strong reasons and earn customers.
Solve a Problem or Make People’s Lives Easier
A business idea should have profitability. More importantly, it needs to help the society. It needs to either solve an existing problem or make people life easy in some way. You don’t have to solve problems on a gigantic scale. It can be as small as a “scoopable” cat litter. The ability to solve a social problem adds to the sustainability of your business.
You got to get good at identifying problems. In every problem, there are opportunities. In every frustration you see, there is an idea in the making. You can think of ideas, when you have trouble grouping your photos or wardrobe. More often than not, ideas don’t come from boardrooms. Creative people come up with gem of ideas, even when sitting in a restroom.
Social entrepreneurs have been shaping the world for centuries. One of our recent favorites is Muruganantham from India, dubbed as ‘Pad Man’. He invented a low-cost sanitary machine, which brought down the costs of menstrual pads. It served nearby financially struggling villages so well.
Now his machine runs in 29 countries. Another book example would be Jeffery Hollander. His work focuses on cleaning products which avoids harmful chemicals and reduces environmental impact.
These three tips should open you to in-depth business thinking. The aim is to shift your thinking process in alternate directions. Following these steps will enhance the sustainability of your business. These tips help your business in the long term as well as short term. It is your ticket to real ‘out of the box’ thinking in business domain.
Let the real time examples of creative entrepreneur inspire you. Your role models or inspirations need not necessarily be eccentric characters. We suggest reading our posts on ‘copying business ideas’ and ‘best business books’ to broaden your understanding of business ideas.